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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45

7.62x39 vs 5.56x45

31 Jan 2019
@ 05:01 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

As an all-around utility rifle for 0-100 yards, which cartridge would you guys choose? I know it’s an old discussion but just in terms of terminal performance combined with the AK vs. the AR, which would you pick?

This is in the context of the rifle being used for defensive purposes against humans as well as hunting any local animals. Sort of in a survival/apocalypse role.

My vote goes to a decent AK, I just think the rifle is more durable/reliable and if you’re forced to use FMJ it’s at least a bit wider and heavier. What would you guys choose?

Replies

31 Jan 2019
@ 05:20 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
My preferences: AG42/B or M3. Both better to deliver the double tap on z's.
31 Jan 2019
@ 06:33 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
Paul, by M3 do you mean the grease gun?
31 Jan 2019
@ 08:50 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
Recognize the 7.62 vs 5.56 discussion BUT I'm never going light weight on a bush rifle. I pack a Benelli R1 Argo 7.62 X 51 on the quad moving through Bush trails hunting grouse and while driving to a snipping position for ungulate with the scoped rifle.

Open sights! Currently using the Zmax 168s. Too many close calls with bear, blacks and grizzly. Accurate firearm and available for a close in shot at an ungulate. Firearm rides under the top fold of a quilted moving blanket that is strapped onto the front rack of the quad. The scoped rifle or grouse firearm are shoved into the second fold of blanket.

I feel vulnerable without the R1 in the Bush. Electrical tape over the muzzle and it lays in arm reach when overnight in the Bush.
31 Jan 2019
@ 04:42 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
Generally we don't talk about hunting Humans. No need for it. Ghastly business....... As an all rounder hunting round it's hard to beat a bolt action 35 Whelen..... Power, barrel life, accuracy, diverse weight projectiles 150 to 300gn. cast bullets. Whats not to like? For DG same Cal in a double rifle or semi auto.......
31 Jan 2019
@ 08:18 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
not really subject that of any interest to me to discuss.
i have rifles for hunting nothing else.

thought i would mention to those running 7.62x39 the cfe blkout powder seems to really bump up performance for anyone interested
01 Feb 2019
@ 09:23 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
I hunt with BOTH....at sub 100mtrs there isnt much in it....the .223 is more accurate and can be loaded more explosively but the 7.62x39mm can go heavy and slow and is a heck of a lot easier and efficent to load sub sonic if that itch needs to be scratched.
I will say that for a bigger tougher animal the 7.62x39mm wins hands down every day (this coming from fella who shot 140ish lb boar with .223 last week) its similar to fast cars...you just cant beat horsepower/cubic inches a 150grn projectile going at just over 2200fps is always going to beat a sub hundred grain one even is it is doing 3000fps.
21 Mar 2019
@ 12:36 am (GMT)

Len Mattsen

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
Quote:
Generally we don't talk about hunting Humans. No need for it. Ghastly business....... As an all rounder hunting round it's hard to beat a bolt action 35 Whelen..... Power, barrel life, accuracy, diverse weight projectiles 150 to 300gn. cast bullets. Whats not to like? For DG same Cal in a double rifle or semi auto.......

The 35 Whelen is a good close quarters rifle, and you can reload .357 bullets for the really light stuff. That said, I rechambered / rebarreled a 30-06 to .338-06 for heavy game. It is slightly more versatile, better BC, for longer shots and has a wider bullet selection. The fact that it uses far less powder for less recoil and is about 200 f/sec behind the .338 Win Mag makes it my go to rifle.
21 Mar 2019
@ 04:47 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
Recoil comparison:

This is not an in depth study BUT just to better understand the recoil characteristic.

Using a 250-grain (16 g) bullet, the .35 Whelen will generate 3,500 ft⋅lbf (4,700 J) at the muzzle from a 24 in (61 cm) barrel.
The .35 Whelen is not the ballistic twin of the .350 Remington Magnum and falls about 500 foot pounds short.
A .350 Remington Magnum with a 200-grain generates 2900 ft-lb. at muzzle = 34.5 ft.lb of recoil.
A .338 Win Mag with a 250-grain generates 3500 ft.lb at muzzle = 33.5 ft.lb of recoil.
A .30-06 with a 220 grain generates 2500 ft.lb at the muzzle = 15 ft.lb of recoil.

The .35 Whelan would be in the approximate range of 30 - 35 ft.lb of recoil.

Nathans approach is to suck it up butter cup. To sight in a scope and practice with big bores must be punishing. I was responsible for sighting in a .300 Win mag, recoil approx. 26 ft.lb, for a character operating Big Louies Guiding, whenever he dropped the dam thing. Absolutely hated the blast and recoil.

The recovery time, after firing a .338, 35 Whelan, etc, must be difficult to compensate if a second shot is immediately required.

Accuracy of the first shot would be a must have scenario.
21 Mar 2019
@ 05:05 am (GMT)

Caleb Mayfield

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
Quote:
This is in the context of the rifle being used for defensive purposes ... Sort of in a survival/apocalypse role.


In this context I think it depends on where you are in the world. If you are talking about a hypothetical end of the world, scenario you have to assume ammunition will be what you can scavenge and the most plentiful source is going to be whatever the law enforcement and military use. Here in the US I would have to go with the AR in 5.56, although AK types are growing and there is a fair bit of 7.62x39 ammo around. If I didn't have one I'd scavenge an AK first chance I had.

That being said, I have both a 5.56 and a 300 BlkOut in AR platform. The 300 can be loaded very similarly to the 7.62x39. If I had my druthers, I'druther have a 7.62 caliber in AR or AK.

Having dispatched larger animals with both the 5.56 and 300, I want the 300 hands down.
26 Mar 2019
@ 12:55 pm (GMT)

William Craig

Re: 7.62x39 vs 5.56x45
You don’t say where you are or what you plan to hunt, so it’s difficult to fully assess which caliber would be best for you. I live in central Virginia, so my comments will be based on living and hunting here. I’ve not shot the 7.62x39 much, although I did mess with a .300 BLK for a while. I have shot the .223/5.56x45 a lot - from AR as well as bolt actions. It can do a lot, but it really isn’t the best choice for hunting game weighing much over 50 pounds. The 7.62x39 and .300 BLK throw a much heavier bullet at a reasonable muzzle velocity, but they, too, quickly run out of steam. So, for me, the choice would be neither the .223 nor the 7.62x39. Instead, I would opt for a bolt action chambered in .308 Winchester. Given the “apocalypse” requirement, I’d choose the Ruger Scout Rifle. It’s not too long and not too heavy, so you’re likely to have it when you need it. It’s pre-threaded, so easy to fit with a silencer (USA term) and accepts large capacity magazines (or 5 rounders where required for hunting). A wide range of factory loads are available and it will handle 7.62x51 ammunition as well. If you reload, it’s even more versatile. Using published load data, I got 3,000 FPS with a Sierra 125 grain Pro Hunter out of a 17.5 inch barreled Ruger American rifle. Inside 100 yards it killed whitetail deer like they were struck by lightning. Loaded with heavier bullets it would work on black bear or elk/moose inside 100 yards. Recoil is very manageable. Won’t do double taps, but hits hard and the bolt can be cycled pretty quickly at need. I currently own CF rifles in .223,.308,.25-06, and 6.5 Creedmoor, but if forced to pick just one, it would be the .308.
 

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